DAY ONE: 9 September 2019

10.00-12.00: Lecture 1

Shelley Budgeon (University of Birmingham): Embodying Neoliberal Femininity

Chair: Gily Coene (Free University of Brussels)

This lecture will provide an introduction to recent feminist scholarship which seeks to theorise and critically evaluate the complex relationship between neoliberalism and feminism. We will consider how this relationship has produced expectations for the performance of gendered selfhood in accordance with qualities of individuality, autonomy, confidence and freedom. Key characteristics of ‘neoliberal femininity’ and its normative functioning across a range of substantive areas will be analysed including beauty and body practices; consumerism and consumption; and work and organizational cultures. We will further analyse this production of selfhood through the lens of intersectionality and transnationalism to critically evaluate the role it plays in the reproduction of inequality. 

Respondent: Chia Longman (Ghent University)

13.30-16.30: Masterclass by Shelly Budgeon and Katrien de Graeve (Ghent University) 

DAY TWO: 10 September 2019

10.00-12.00: Lecture 2 

Paul Boyce (University of Sussex): Sexual Worldings

Chair: Karen Celis (Free University of Brussels)

This talk considers ways in which global health rubrics employed for the creation of evidence about sexual subjects in international HIV prevention research and programming may comprise an affective component of ‘sexual worldings.’ By this I mean to evoke a recursive, connected relationship between data production about sexualities and everyday sexual experiencing. I explore such actions as indicative of ways in which (queer) life-worlds may be typified by concealment even at the point at which they might be bound up in knowledge making activities. I connect such perspectives to Heidegger's concept of Dasein as bearing qualities that are hidden. I explore such ideas in reference to life-contexts in and around HIV prevention community-projects in India as an example. In doing so I consider how terms such as ‘MSM’ (and other public health designations) might ‘think’ their subjects – as categories in varied orientations toward sexual being-in-the-world.

Respondent: Tom Claes (Ghent University)

13.30-16.30: Masterclass by Paul Boyce and Ladan Rahbari (Ghent University) 

DAY THREE: 11 September 2019

10.00-12.00: Lecture 3

Anna Andreeva (University of Heidelberg): The Women’s Arts Only? Managing Childbirth in Medieval Japan 

Chair: Carine Plancke (Ghent University)

The organization of childbirth in elite households of medieval Japan required serious planning and swift orchestration. Although the initial preparations for it could take several months, the labour could easily escalate into both medical and ritual emergency and necessitate an urgent response from the female and male relatives, ritual specialists, physicians, and midwives. Based on recently discovered medico-religious manuscripts and court protocols dating between 1118 and 1337, this lecture will focus on the “gendered choreographies” of childbirth taking place inside and outside of the secluded birth chamber, that is, the actions of people who inhabited such spaces during the tense moments of royal consort’s labour. Closed to male physicians, relatives, and ritual specialists and accessible only to female assistants and ladies-in-waiting, the birth chamber and its immediate surroundings will thus serve as a stage for practicing the various “arts of judgment” and gendered knowledge by both women and men, who specialized in midwifery, Buddhist rituals, Chinese traditional healing or administration of drugs, exorcism, and calculative divination. 

Respondent: Ann Heirman (Ghent University)

13.30-16.30: Masterclass by Anna Andreev and Angelika Koch (Ghent University)